It's been a while. I've been in Japan, collecting seeds and getting drunk in the unlikeliest of places. Even when I am most engaged with the outside world, news reaches my ear at the speed of a homing pigeon. Buying newspapers or turning on the telly would keep me connected but why, honestly, should I bother? I bought a copy of the Sunday Times last weekend, only because I'd decided to stop for lunch in a pub on the way home from visiting a friend in Somerset and wanted something to read.
Nick Clegg and Vince Cable have earned, I discovered, our sincere thanks for making it so fucking miserable to be a UK taxpayer that all the well-paid people in the country have moved to New York, which has overtaken London as the financial capital of the world. This will cost the Treasury about £30 billion in foregone tax revenues, an excellent bargain considering that the tax system is now so much fairer. Incidentally, I discovered recently that Nick Clegg was an exact contemporary of mine at Cambridge University, which makes me feel less bad about my underachieving life.
Barack Obama has won a second term as President of the USA (what, you hadn't heard), defeating by a terrifyingly narrow margin a Mormon named Mitt Romney, a man whom, thanks to the intervention of the Antichrist, no-one will remember three or four years from now. Mormons believe that Jesus visited the USA after his resurrection and revealed to Joseph Smith His true teachings. Perhaps it's just me, but isn't the only relevant difference between Romney and Ahmaninedjad of Iran that, whereas the latter would like to have a nuclear bomb but can't because he's not a Jew, the former would have had several thousand, had it not been for African-Americans, 93% of whom voted for Obama. If this is not an argument in favour of naked prejudice, I'd like to see a better one.
The Church of England has a new Archbishop of Canterbury, news that was announced on page three of the Sunday Times in a short column next to a large picture of Paula Broadwell, who'd been screwing David Petraeus, (former) head of the CIA, until his wife found out. The journos at the ST can't have much fun but poor Justin Welby is an easy target. Apparently the new Archbish announced 'during a visit to a food parcel initiative in Sunderland' that 'it's a very strange feeling when you find yourself having odds quoted on you at a bookies. Generally speaking, I am not a horse. I think that's a really important point to get across.' According to the ST, he also intends to reduce the gulf between rich and poor, while at the same time reconnecting with the wealthy. 'He is conscious that having a lot of money makes it easier to rely on material things...It's his opinion that it can be harder to be spiritual if you're rich', according to a spokesman. That's a really profound insight, when you think about it.
The BBC is in trouble, having mistaken Lord McAlpine for a paedophile of the same name. Easily done, when you reflect that most heterosexual Scottish men secretly fancy girls just slightly younger than the appropriate age. As do most heterosexual men in every other country on earth. The traditional media are naturally obsessed with their own imminent demise, which is why Welby, the City of London and even the square-jawed fantasist from Salt Lake City were on page three.
Nadine Dorries, who is apparently a Tory MP, has appeared on a TV programme called 'I'm a Celebrity, Get me out of Here...' This is the most interesting thing she has ever done. Acording to the ST, 'the Prime Minister was informed by his aides while having breakfast in Abu Dhabi'. Thank goodness for the civil service. Hats off chaps.
Catherine Robbe-Grillet has revealed that she had sex with her late husband and that occasionally they used whips to enhance their mutual sexual pleasure. Fuck, I'd never have thought of that.
Sunnis and Shiites are apparently taking opposite sides in the conflicts in Iran, Iraq and Syria. I don't like to boast but I think I could have predicted that. Both sides agree that the Prophet Mohamed flew to Mecca first class on Etihad Airlines but they differ on whether his complimentary socks were blue or red. This is a really worthwhile reason for going to war and I just don't understand the imbeciles who disagree.
It will be some time before I buy another newspaper.